Our travels across the state began in the historic city of New Bern, NC. New Bern has a long and rich history as one of the earliest established towns in the state. It was founded in 1710, closely following the first established town of Bath in 1705. New Bern's interesting history began when Baron Christophe DeGraffenried, a native of Bern, Switzerland, first read about the area in Englishman John Lawson's 1709 publication "A New Voyage to Carolina." The area had already been settled for some time by a Native American tribe known as the Neusiak. The area is located where the Trent and Neuse Rivers meet close to where they flow into the Pamlico Sound. Baron DeGraffenried brought Swiss immigrants and German Palatine refugees looking to escape severe hardships in their own countries and make a fresh start in the colony of North Carolina. Baron DeGraffenried named his new settlement New Bern after his old hometown and hoped it would bring good fortune to his new home. New Bern still boasts many reminders of its Swiss heritage, such as the four-sided clock tower on the Town Hall building and the flag of its parent city. In 2010, New Bern celebrated its 300th anniversary of its founding in 1710, and in celebration, it endorsed the placement of beautifully painted bear statues all over the town. We enjoyed hunting for those bears.
New Bern's interesting history does not stop at its founding. You will find a treasure trove of centuries old churches, houses, schools, and even a palace all telling the town's story.
|Historic registry signs are located all over town to help educate about the town's rich history.|
|This lovely old church sits in the middle of downtown and just adds so much charm and romantic appeal with its moss draped trees.|
|While you may prefer to drink Coca-Cola in other parts of the world, here in New Bern you have to appreciate their beloved Pepsi. In 1893, a local pharmacist, Caleb Bradham, created a refreshing beverage locally known as Brad's Drink. Although this refreshment would not carry the official Pepsi-Cola name until 1898 and later the Pepsi name in 1961, the citizens of New Bern have been enjoying it for over 100 years. Pepsi just celebrated its 50th year in 2011.|
|My boys don't often get to enjoy the sweet taste of carbonated beverages, but they had to enjoy a little Pepsi fountain drink in this shop for history's sake.|
|Strolling along the streets of this old town really does feel like you stepped back in time.|
|John Wright Stanly's house is a beautiful, original colonial house built in the early 1780s. President Washington stayed in the home in 1791 on his Southern Tour.|
|Cedar Grove Cemetery is a center of history in itself. It's beautiful centuries old monuments just speak of Old Southern charm and beauty along with the moss draped trees hanging overhead.|
|This cute little establishment in downtown New Bern was the perfect place for a cool refreshment and some cool indoor fun.|
|Evan and I enjoyed our yummy milkshakes, and Brody devoured his little ice cream sundae.|
|It was a little hot to fully enjoy the beauty of Union Point Park, but Brody loved climbing on these bears that were in the shade.|